Human waste bill?

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Jim

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It will be interesting how they write this bill; whether or not it exempts RVs in established campgrounds with sewer hookups or dump stations. I will be watching this closely since we live part of the year in Washington state.

Having recently driven through the Seattle area, I can understand the need for something like this. There are decrepit old RVs parked everywhere with the homeless living in them. And, in fact, there's something called "RV ranching" going on where someone buys a bunch of old RVs and rents them out to the homeless. Obviously, there are no sewer hook-ups/dump stations where these RVs are parked along the streets and many of them are barely capable of being moved, much less making frequent trips to an approved dump station. Thus, human waste is just dumped in the street. Nasty situation.

What makes this even harder to deal with is a recent outr decision that you have to let the homeless camp on public property (streets and roads, parks, city/county/state property, etc.) if you can't provide every homeless person with approved housing...at no cost to them, of course. The result is that Seattle has become a magnet for the homeless and there are huge encampments everywhere. Sadly, most of these folks are in need of mental health care and/or drug/alcohol treatment which is very limited.

More than you wanted to know, I'm sure. Something needs to be done to protect public health, however.

TJ
 
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Jim

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It will be interesting how they write this bill

TJ
Yes it will. And how they enforce it as well.

If I understand what Sen. Tim Sheldon wants, then I assume his law will force people to move their RV if it's not in compliance. And in a lot of cases, that means the people living in the RV will be forced back on the street, and the problematic poop problem will persist.

Faced with eviction, Urban Camper will surely take defensive measures. As the tension grows between the urban squatters and the poop posse, rebellious city managers will declare their cities RV Sanctuaries. Things will spiral downward from there.

Yep, I see big problems on the horizon.
 
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Yes it will. And how they enforce it as well.

If I understand what Sen. Tim Sheldon wants, then I assume his law will force people to move their RV if it's not in compliance. And in a lot of cases, that means the people living in the RV will be forced back on the street, and the problematic poop problem will persist.

Faced with eviction, Urban Camper will surely take defensive measures. As the tension grows between the urban squatters and the poop posse, rebellious city managers will declare their cities RV Sanctuaries. Things will spiral downward from there.

Yep, I see big problems on the horizon.
I pretty much concur, Jim. There are two competing problems; public sanitation and the needs of the homeless. Both are serious issues that the bureaucracy really doesn't want to deal with in other than a cosmetic way. It always amazes me at the lengths to which people will go to avoid dealing directly with a serious issue.

TJ
 
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Just thinking off the cuff here but seems to me that the city could just buy a couple of honey wagons, let me roam the city and allow the RVs to dump for a nominal fee, which could be charged to the registered owner of the vehcile. Not registered? Tow it. No pickup with 60 days? Crush it or seize it. If someone dumps in the street, write a stiff ticket to the registered owner. Does it fix the homeless problem? No. Seems better than the current reality though.
 
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Like so many things there are already laws on the books about dumping human waste on the ground. It is just a money grab, one more permit, one more tax dollar they don't have to claim as increasing taxes, although it is.
 
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Another way to address the sewage issue might just be for the city to buy some PVC pipe and build some above-ground sewage connections. Run a line of PVC down the curb, that empties into to a modified manhole cover located near the sidewalk. put a 3” connection every 24’, let the homeless RVs dump into it. It doesn’t solve the homeless problem. It’s fair to say it might even encourage it. The aim isn’t to solve homelessness. It’s to get raw sewage out of the street.
 
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Another way to address the sewage issue might just be for the city to buy some PVC pipe and build some above-ground sewage connections. Run a line of PVC down the curb, that empties into to a modified manhole cover located near the sidewalk. put a 3” connection every 24’, let the homeless RVs dump into it. It doesn’t solve the homeless problem. It’s fair to say it might even encourage it. The aim isn’t to solve homelessness. It’s to get raw sewage out of the street.
Sadly, this approach assumes that the homeless will want to properly dump their sewage. Unfortunately, many (if not most) are dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, etc. and aren't willing or able to follow rules and procedures. Seattle's homeless problems will continue until the root issues are effectively addressed.

TJ
 
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Sadly, this approach assumes that the homeless will want to properly dump their sewage. Unfortunately, many (if not most) are dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, etc. and aren't willing or able to follow rules and procedures. Seattle's homeless problems will continue until the root issues are effectively addressed.

TJ
That’s fair. It’s a huge problem for sure.
 
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Those people are always looking to extract more money from our pockets, and stuffing their own. Where does it end? 😖
 
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You might feel a little differently if the raw sewage was flowing into your front yard.

TJ
 
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How is that? There should not be sewage from anywhere in your front yard.
But there might be if you don't find a way to stop irresponsible people from dumping their sewage in the street! And, that will likely cost money to accomplish.

TJ
 

Jim

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Sadly, this approach assumes that the homeless will want to properly dump their sewage. Unfortunately, many (if not most) are dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, etc. and aren't willing or able to follow rules and procedures. Seattle's homeless problems will continue until the root issues are effectively addressed.

TJ
The wizards that run our small town/county decided to buy a bunch of "syringe disposal" units to hang on the walls of the bathrooms located in the parks around the area. It never made much sense to me (but then again, my brother-n-law wasn't selling syringe disposal units) as the druggies out here don't care about proper disposal.

More wasted money.
 
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Three should be harsh punishment for them, if such occurred, not tax for those who follow proper procedure. Too often good folks have to pay for the misdeeds of others, yet they march on free of charge.
 
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Basic enforcement of existing laws should solve this issue. Dumping waste is not hard to find. Also, as others have stated, enforcement and provide a dump station that is local and available is a good solution. There are also existing tools to find local dump sites. This is all about changing behavior of the people who willingly break the law. Do not tax everyone else.
 
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A couple of honey wagons still makes the most immediate sense to me to solve the most pressing sanitation need. A water truck could also pump fresh water into these homeless units.

I think if the city wanted to, they could address the immediate issue. Most people (homeless or not), given the resources and opportunity will do the right thing (like not dumping sewage in the street) in my experience. It’s when they are faced with a problem (such as a full black tank) they don’t have the resources or means to resolve on their own (like access to a dump station, tote tank or honey wagon) and there is no support to assist them with the problem that things tend to go down the drain - pun intended.

Again, the costs for these services could be charged to the registered owner of the unit by proxy of a citation or any other number of methods. If the unit is not registered, it should be towed away and impounded and eventually seized and sold or destroyed if not claimed within a reasonable amount of time. Cities already have infrastructure and services in place for handling that.

If the registered owner doesn’t want to pay those costs, they should move their unit onto some private land and out of the public area.

It would cost the city maybe a million for a few water trucks and honey wagons.

All I am saying is that the symptom (raw sewage in the streets) of the bigger problem (rampant homelessness and inadequate availability of mental health services) is treatable and while I am rarely a proponent of addressing symptoms rather than problems, this is a public health issue that the city needs to address because actually fixing the problem will take years of dedicated, concerted efforts - something government is typically not very good at sustaining.

All JMHO.
 
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Odd to target something like that at RVs since tent camping/ car campers are even more likely to poop in the woods. Also, I have no idea about the stats but I'd hazard a guess that RVs with 'composting' toilets seem more likely to dump their waste in nature (on assumption it will biodegrade) than RVs with regular pipes. (But maybe just because there are more with pipes than composting toilets the majority is coming from traditional RVs). I also wonder about the actual hazard of black tank waste versus gray tank waste as far as damage to public lands, as I suspect gray tank waste may be just as or perhaps even more harmful to nature, but of course they can both be dangerous.
 
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Odd to target something like that at RVs since tent camping/ car campers are even more likely to poop in the woods. Also, I have no idea about the stats but I'd hazard a guess that RVs with 'composting' toilets seem more likely to dump their waste in nature (on assumption it will biodegrade) than RVs with regular pipes. I also wonder about the actual hazard of black tank waste versus gray tank waste as far as damage to public lands, as I suspect gray tank waste may be just as or perhaps even more harmful to nature.
Not legal to dump black or gray in the woods. Is legal to empty a dish pan however, just not water that has been in the gray tank.
Composting toilets are not really composting toilets but rather dryers. The law says it is not waste until it hits the ground. Takes about 6 mos to compost properly. then should be tested for pathogens. Cat holes are legal in the forest and should be used by tent campers if they must. TP should be bagged and put in the trash.
 
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